• Interview

An Interview with Brick + Mortar

Brick + Mortar are releasing a 7 song EP, Dropped AND playing Fountain Square on Friday July 17th! Hailing from Toms River, New Jersey the duo consists of frontman Brandon Asraf (bass guitar, vocals) and John Tacon (drums, electronic samples, vocals). Their goal is to spread a message of empathy, positivity, and self motivation, while playing gritty, bright yet sinister, witty alternative pop. Their music is addicting. 

They were also featured in a Vice article about how Brandon's dad was a diamond smuggler.

I just had to chat with Brandon prior to the show to get info on the EP to be released and of course…what is up with his dad!

So…have you heard from your dad since the interview in 2012? That’s some crazy shit! 
We have skyped on and off, he lives in Costa Rica now. He is really proud of what I do and it's trippy to think it all went down the way it did. He seems to have given up his fast paced lifestyle and criminal sensibilities for the simpler life living by the ocean a poor peaceful old man. You know, like the ending to any great film. 

Tell us about the new EP set to release July 17th!
It's a 7 song ep called Dropped and the title has a literal and very on the nose meaning. We were dropped from Photo Finish / Island Def Jam / Universal Records shortly after completing what was supposed to be our first full length record. Bangs was supposed to be the first half of Universals "Complete My Album" plan and songs off Dropped are actually the second half of that record plus 2 re-released tracks we love. We were actually ignored by the big label and had almost zero chance of getting our songs back making us stuck in limbo for almost a year! In an odd twist of fate, a clerical error on the labels part finally gave us, "the little band that could" an upper hand. Turns out when we were signed I sang on a cover which was sold to a major feature film to be used in its trailer, thing is the label never asked me to sign off on it. So after being dropped and utterly ignored for a year here I was being emailed by Universal and asked if I could be so sweet as to sign off on this cover. My answer...... Lemme ask anyone reading this, what would you wanna say? I kindly said that. ;) Haha long story short I got my songs back, found a label to release them, investors to fund a campaign hired my own teams to promote it. So here we are on our first full headlining tour releasing our own music and back from the dead in a way. 

What can Cincinnati expect from the live show at Fountain Square?
A great time and intense performance, new songs and some live visuals are possible. We teamed up to make an amazing new live show with the artist Richie Brown. He makes our album covers and made the animated music video for OLD BOY. 

Any advice for local musicians just getting started? 
Never aim to do the same thing twice, trust your fans, respect your fans, talk to your fans, they are the only thing that is real. One last thing is never wait for the world to send luck your way, make your own. 

What is next for Brick + Mortar?
More touring, recording a new full length this fall and more music videos! 

Brick + Mortar
w/ MULTIMAGIC, Mad Anthony, One Day Steady
Fountain Square
Friday July 17th